We’re so excited you’re going to join us at the market! The thought of selling around lots of other people might feel a little scary at first, but we’re here to help you, every step of the way! Follow the steps below and you’ll be a successful entrepreneur in no time!

Before you can start a business, you need to come up with something to sell! Think about a product that solves a problem, is a hot new trend, or just something you love to do.  Your product can be anything! Handmade, store bought, food, games or services, but most importantly, it should be something that people want to buy.

An important part of having a successful business is setting goals for what you want your business to become. How much product do you want to sell in 2 months, 6 months or a year? Do you want to make $20 or $200? Writing out goals will help you to stay focused on what you need to do, so you don’t waste time and money, and gives you a way to measure how you’re doing. This business plan template will help you write out your plan. Have a parent help you, and seriously think about each question!

Now that you are starting a new venture, you will need to manage your money carefully by keeping good records, and your personal and business money separate. It’s also a good idea to plan on taking different forms of payment, so you never have to turn a customer away! You can even start to think about what you will do with your earnings- save it, spend it, invest it back into your business.

Setting the right prices for your products can get a little complicated. If you set your prices too low, you might sell a lot, but not make much money! If you price your items too high, it might be more than people want to spend and you could end up selling less than you hoped. Ultimately, you’ll need to do some homework to figure out how much it costs to make your product and how much you can sell it for, to make a profit.

Chances are, that no matter what you decide your business will offer, you’ll run into competition! If a bunch of people are selling the same thing at the market, why would they choose your product over someone else’s? You might offer an extra value to your customer, make your buyer’s experience memorable, or deliver your product in a unique way, to make your business stand out from the rest!

Since your product is going to be amazing, it might be tempting to eat or use the product yourself, or let friends have it for free, but using up your products will quickly eat away at your profits. Lost products means lost profit. Be sure to keep your products for paying customers.

In a market full of other booths, what’s going to make customers come buy from you? You’ll need a good marketing plan to stand out from all the others, so you can grab buyer’s attention- and you’ll only have a few seconds to do it!  You can decorate your booth using balloons, decorative paper, bright colors and signs to grab people’s interest. Use your imagination and design a plan and strategy that customers will stop and notice, giving you a chance to close the sale!

Sometimes the scariest part of running a business is actually talking to the customers! You can feel more confident about this by role playing at home what you will say, before you get to the market. Practice acknowledging your buyers with a greeting or question that draws them into your booth. Tell them what you’re selling in just a few words and once you’ve got their attention, then go into more detail!

Businesses can always get better, even after they’ve been in business for years! As you start working on your business, it’ll be important to continually look for ways to improve. Can you buy supplies cheaper, make products more efficiently, or use a different method of advertising or selling? Remember, not everything you try will be successful and that’s ok. The goal is to be able to look at an experience and understand what went wrong, and how you can do better next time.

Helping your child experience entrepreneurship is not only fun, but offers them invaluable life-long lessons in the process!

1. Let your child do the selling.

This is THE most important part of the Children’s Entrepreneur Market!

We strongly encourage parents to stay a comfortable distance from their child who is selling. We find that when a parent is present, customers will inevitably direct their conversation toward you (as is culturally normal), and your child will quickly defer to you during a transaction.  If you remove yourself, your child is free to engage in this amazing conversation one on one with the buyers. Stay within earshot but far enough away that your child isn’t really aware of your presence and they will come away from the experience empowered and confident! If you feel you need to sit in the booth, when a customer comes, just act uninterested while your child conducts the sale (you can wink/smile at the buyer, but don’t insert yourself into the sale).

Another bonus of staying comfortably away from your child, is they will likely do better financially! There is nothing more impressive to buyers than a child who can articulate what they’re selling and handle the entire transaction.

2. Children are in charge!

Make sure your child’s offering is not too complex for them to handle on their own. If they’re unable to handle the bulk of the transactions themselves, please consider waiting for a future date to participate or figuring out a way to simplify the experience to their level.

You can help them price items in increments they can calculate and make change for, offer fewer products and role play interacting with customers. You might be surprised how young children can manage a small business operation, if they’re well prepared at home.

3. Be your child’s GUIDE.

It’s tempting to take over when your child gets stuck, but if you give them a minute to act independently, they just might figure it out!  Encourage autonomy but let them know you’ll be right there to guide them.